Accountability Framework


Understanding and tracking the impact of digitalisation is a vital step towards addressing its unintended social consequences.

Transparency reporting is helping all stakeholders to engage in more informed debate about digital development. Independent assesment and expert analysis will enable organisations to demonstrate accountability and build best practice, and help policymakers to develop effective regulation. Similar approaches have been successful in relation to the gender pay gap, food labelling and climate change.

The Internet Commission is consulting on a draft set of qualitative and quantitative questions that seek to establish the effectiveness of online content management processes. The current draft includes 45 questions in six sections:

Reporting: how is the platform alerted to potential breaches of its rules?
Moderation: how are decisions made to take action about content?
Notice: how are flaggers and content creators notified?
Process of appeal: how can decisions be challenged and what happens when they are?
Resources: what human and other resources are applied to managing content?
Governance: How are content management processes, policies and strategies overseen?

Our goal is to establish qualitative and quantitative indicators that give a rounded picture of performance, focussing more on process than output. They will reflect the growing importance of Artificial Intelligence and seek to reveal what the balance is between safety and security on the one hand and privacy and freedom of expression on the other. We aim for a modular approach so that our framework can be applied to a broad range of online activities.

The Internet Commission is independent of both government and industry and takes an international perspective. Our questions inform and are informed by growing research collaborations with leading academic institutions. We have integrated the 2018 Santa Clara Principles on Moderation at Scale and have followed their development with great interest.

Get involved

By providing detailed, confidential feedback on our questions, organisations are helping to ensure that our questions are practical, relevant, reasonable and proportionate. Contact:

We need an environment where processes and procedures to tackle problems are more visible and accountable, and they need to be independent and validated. There’s no doubt that companies are doing a lot to improve their processes, but it needs to be demonstrated.
— Jonny Shipp, Founder and Project Lead